In the 90s, we had some of the best socially and racially aware music, we had people wearing dashikis, black power fists, and ankhs. We also had the Million Man March and the Million Woman March. But at the same time we had the Rodney King beating and riots, deadly gang violence, and drugs/mass incarceration of our people thanks to the Clinton Administration (which we so love to forget). As I revisit the past with a more conscious mind, I’m able to go back and see what people were talking about when I was child and too young to understand. One of my favorite people to revisit is Sister Souljah. As I watch and listen to her speak on the Larry King Show in 1992, she perfectly articulated what was going on not only then, but now.
When I first heard of Sister Souljah, I was 10 years old, and I wanted to read The Coldest Winter Ever. The book was sitting in the office of my home in Mississippi. Before I knew her as a self-proclaimed rebel, a member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy, and an activist, I knew her as a writer, and I loved her work. Though I was too young to understand the depth of the social issues in her work, I felt a connection to her writing. She gave voice to the young black people and used her platform to illuminate issues like drugs, prison, sexuality, broken families, and its effects on young black women, black children, and the over all black community. It was through her work, that she was able to be a powerful inspiration to young black African (yes we are African) women 24 years ago and today.
Sister Souljah is unapologetic in her fight for our people. Her art speaks for itself. However, she’s also very articulate, and she caused a lot of uproar in the media because of her radical philosophy. In the 90s, they had police brutality as well as black on black murders every day, just like today. Although not everyone agrees with radicalism, it’s important to pay homage to the black women who fight for the cause of elevating our people socially, economically, spiritually, physically, and mentally. Often times the contributions of black women are erased. We are told as black women that we shouldn’t be so loud, proud, and shameless. We are told to stand in the shadows instead of fighting for what we believe in. We are told to silence ourselves to make other people comfortable. We are told to put everyone else before the preservation of our self and our people. Well, in the words of Sister Souljah, we are “not born to make white people comfortable. [We] are African First. [We] are black first.”
After 24 years, we are still fighting the same fight, and the spirit of the 90s is being reincarnated. Check out the videos below to see how Sister Souljah spoke of the problems that are still plaguing the black community. Thanks for reading. Like, share, and comment below and let me know what you think about Sister Souljah.